MD Helicopters, Inc., an American aerospace manufacturer that produces helicopters for commercial, military and private use.
MD Helicopters is an iconic brand with a rich and storied past including being started by the late Howard Hughes. The company was eventually sold to McDonnell Douglas in the 80s and ultimately acquired the MD moniker (from McDonnell Douglas). Now an independent company based in Mesa, Arizona, MD Helicopters is positioned for growth with a very promising future.
The marketing team at MD Helicopters came to us in the same situation as most of our clients – their site was badly outdated. They had relied on internal IT resources to patch their site over the years and it was time to start fresh. The Avenue 25 team made numerous trips to Mesa to strategize and consult on how best to create a new site that would energize the loyal MD client base as well as inspire new customers. We got up close and personal with some new high-tech helicopters, sat in the pilot's seat and saw first hand the important features of their aircraft.
MD Helicopters knows their customers. Their aircraft are capable of working in nearly any environment, so it was imperative that we focused the website on two things – the missions that pilots embark on and the pilots themselves.
It was important to position the website to appeal to the unique customers and their needs. The website features five dominant sliding images on the homepage. Each one a scene depicting a mission and strategic market focus as well as an inset photo and account from a real pilot. Historically and still today, MD intimately knows the industries their customers work in and has engineered a product with loyal following in each one.
Helicopters are obviously big ticket items and they often require plenty of red tape and paperwork before one is purchased. That said, the folks upstairs write checks, but they don't fly aircraft. We learned that the pilot is the user we needed to appeal to. Point out the features and benefits that make a pilot's life easier and safer and the recommendations will make their way upstairs to the decision makers.
Photography assets were plentiful but they didn't have a consistent look. The Avenue 25 designers took it from there. We were able to create convincing overall shots by carefully compositing (cutting out) aircraft from photos and setting them into appropriate environments to create compelling, believable (if not super cool!) scenes.
A close collaboration between design and development (the coding beneath the site) was in place from the beginning. Custom approaches to presenting the varied information required creativity even where you don't see it. Our development team is amazing at making websites perform seemlessling on all devices. View this website on your phone, tablet, notebook or huge desktop — you'll get a perfectly balanced experience. The biggest plus for the clients is they can do 100% of updating even this custom site themselves. The content management system in place is user friendly and intuitive. That means the user can save money by updated things themselves – press releases, adding pages, job postings, etc. Those people upstairs also appreciate that.
Live site: mdhelicopters.com